Last week I was in Durham and was able to get outside painting on a couple of warm and sunny days. However, the painting above was done at home. I had spotted the subject whilst sketching the dead tree beside the river, below – in fact this view above was behind me as I sketched, but getting the filigree foliage against a smoky forest backdrop needed a bit of thinking through, so I declined the challenge and painted this instead.
In hindsight I should have given it a go. Still, it was good to have an unexpected chance to get outside. The day before I sat and sketched the city skyline into the light.
This was again done on the banks of the River Wear with a curious bull snorting near my back from the field behind me. Fortunately the seemingly flimsy barbed wire fence did the trick and I survived to paint another day as this blog and my final sketch: looking up the hill to the other side of the river – testifies.
I posted a very similar painting a few months back. It was one I did mainly for my own amusement, but I included it in a group of paintings I submitted to someone who wanted to commission a view of Durham Cathedral. To my surprise they picked the earlier, portrait, version of this but wanted it in a landscape format – to fit the available space. As the lane winding up to the Cathedral is narrow and the towers hang over and dominate the scene it rather fits a portrait format, but anyway…. I managed to fill the space by including more of the Cathedral tower, a scattering of people and expanding the buildings on the left and right – thank goodness for Google. It might be a bit of a confection, but they seem happy with it, although there are a few things I might touch up before framing and dispatching.
I was asked to do picture of Durham Cathedral or some other Durham church related topic. The request was vague and remained so despite my probing for more direction. I know from old, that my interpretations can be way off the mark than what is swimming around in someone else’s head. Well, I did my best. I showed one painting of the cathedral in an earlier blog, but that was really done for my own pleasure as I liked the lighting. But you never know it may suffice. Here are another two.
I’ll present these three and see how far off the mark I am. If I present another painting of a Durham subject in the near future, you’ll know I missed. It’s like playing battleships – on half imperial sheets.